Tue, 11 April 2017
Borussia Dortmund football team bus hit by explosion

Timeline  Refresh

23:43   Borussia Dortmund football team bus hit by explosion
An explosion has hit a bus carrying the Borussia Dortmund football team to a Champions League match, the club says.

Player Marc Bartra has been injured and has been taken to hospital.

North-Rhine Westphalia police said they were at the scene and there are reports that the fire service are also there.

The team tweeted (in German) that the other players were safe.
23:36   Bomb explosion on Dortmund's team bus, no danger in the stadium
German team Dortmund have tweeted: Bomb explosion on the team bus at the team hotel. Player in security. No danger in the and at the stadium.
23:22   Trump son: Ivanka influenced Syria strike decision
US President Donald Trump has said that the horrific images from a chemical weapons attack in Syria compelled him to authorise a missile strike against an Assad-regime airbase last week. 

But according to his son, Eric Trump, another key White House voice may have also influenced his decision to use military force.

According to an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Eric Trump said he is "sure" that his sister, and newly appointed West Wing adviser, Ivanka Trump, encouraged their father to carry out a the strike against the Syrian president.

The US fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airbase after more than 80 people were killed, including children, in a chemical weapons attack in Idlib province.

"Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. I'm sure she said: 'Listen, this is horrible stuff,' " Eric Trump said. 
23:03   Pope Francis opens free laundromat for homeless
Pope Francis has opened a new laundromat for the homeless to wash and dry their clothing.

The laundromat, near the Vatican, has six washing machines and dryers.

Today, Ciro Guardaccione was among the first to use the new machines. He carefully placed his clothing in the washing machine and watched it spin around.

"This is a fantastic thing, I would like to thank Pope Francis for everything," he said.

The laundromat will remain open four days a week and services are free.

Throughout his papacy Pope Francis has made an effort to reach out to the homeless in Rome. In 2015, the Vatican opened a free barber shop and showers under the Vatican Colonnade and set up a dormitory for homeless men near St Peter's Basilica.
22:40   Joint delegation of Opposition to meet Prez tomorrow
Leaders of Opposition parties will meet President Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow are are likely to flag their concerns over issues like law and order, freedom of speech and growing cow vigilantism. 

The issue of EVM tampering is also likely to be raised before the President by the joint delegation. Leaders of various Opposition parties have already met the EC demanding that use of EVMs be scrapped and ballot paper introduced. 

The parties have also suggested various alternative measures.  

The delegation will comprise leaders of various parties led by the Congress and will include the Left and the TMC, the DMK, the NCP, the JD-U, the RJD, the SP and the BSP, among others.     

A senior Congress leader said the Opposition would urge the President's intervention to rein in the forces disturbing the social and cultural equilibrium.
22:11   'Haha' tweets PM on Deewar poster with a 'Swachch Bharat' twist
A poster featuring an iconic scene from Deewar has a stamp of approval from none other than the Prime Minister himself. Why? Because of its Swachh Bharat connection.

The poster shows the scene from the 1975 film where Amitabh Bachchan is abandoned by his brother Shashi Kapoor and mother Nirupa Roy. While in the film, 'maa' sides with the honest and righteous Ravi, in this poster she has different priorities.

"Nahi, jo pehle shauchalaya banaega, mai uske saath rahugi (I will stay with whoever builds a toilet first)", reads the poster.

Tweeted to him by a follower, even PM Modi couldn't help but crack up. He tweeted, "Haha! Borrows from cinema to make a point on cleanliness. Innovative."
21:54   Petrol pumps threaten to remain shut on Sundays from May 10, to operate from 9 am to 6 pm on other days
Petrol pump owners want an eight-hour, six-day work schedule for their employees, saying it is getting difficult to employ staff for longer hours without an increase in their margins.

Besides, they want petrol stations to be closed on Sundays in line with the governments push for lesser consumption of fossil fuel as part of a green initiative.

They said the two steps should be implemented from May 10.

Fuel stations across the country employ roughly 500,000 employees, including 100,000 temporary contractual workers.

The Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers said the twin moves will reduce consumption by 25 per cent in a country that depends heavily on fuel imports.
21:18   Russia must choose between Assad and the US: US Secretary of State
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued an ultimatum to Russia today: Side with the US and like-minded countries on Syria, or embrace Iran, militant group Hezbollah and embattled Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

As he embarked on a trip to Moscow following urgent meetings in Italy with top diplomats, Tillerson said it was unclear whether Russia had failed to take seriously its obligation to rid Syria of chemical weapons, or had merely been incompetent. But he said the distinction "doesn't much matter to the dead".

"We cannot let this happen again," the secretary of state said.

"We want to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people. Russia can be a part of that future and play an important role," Tillerson added in remarks to reporters. "Or Russia can maintain its alliance with this group, which we believe is not going to serve Russia's interests longer term."
JUST IN: Senior Congress leader Motilal Vora admitted at a hospital in Delhi.
Thinking of how next to attack the government?

Congress President Sonia Gandhi hosts a dinner for her senior party MPs at Parliament House. Seen in the image are Shashi Tharoor, Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma and AK Antony. 
20:29   325 death row convicts in the country till 2016: Govt
As many as 325 death row convicts are lodged in different jails across the country till 2016, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Minister of State for Home, Gangaram Ahir said the highest (68) number of death row convicts are lodged in Uttar Pradesh till December 2016.

There are 41 convicts with capital punishment in Maharashtra, 38 in Madhya Pradesh, 30 in Bihar, 22 in Karnataka, 16 in Kerala, 15 in Chhattisgarh besides others, he said in a reply to a written question.
20:20   US NSA hacked Pakistani mobile networks: WikiLeaks
The US National Security Agency operators have hacked into Pakistani mobile networks and have been spying on hundreds of IP addresses in the country, WikiLeaks has claimed.

"Hundreds of NSA cyber weapons variants publicly released including code showing hacking of Pakistan mobile system," WikiLeaks tweeted.

The revelation came as the hacker group, which had previously released data suggesting the US agency may have been monitoring hundreds of IP addresses in Pakistan, released a new cache of information detailing how the agency accessed private and public networks in other countries, the Express Tribune reported.

The hacker group Shadow Brokers released a tranche of encrypted finds, which are now being decrypted by security researchers around the world.

One such researcher who uses the Twitter handle, x0rz, uploaded files after decryption on Github, and confirmed the archive includes evidence of NSA operators access inside the GSM network of Mobilink one of the Pakistans most popular mobile services provider, the daily said.

The hacking group had initially put up its data cache for auction in exchange for Bitcoin, however, a lack of buyers compelled it to release the data online.

The release of the latest document confirms earlier claims that US spy agencies may have gained access into Pakistani networks, the daily said.
19:28   Sting op case: Scribe moves SC for probe into jawan's death
A woman scribe, booked under the stringent Official Secrets Act for carrying out a sting operation inside an army camp in Nasik, today moved the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe into the mysterious death of a 33-year-old jawan.

Delhi-based journalist Poonam Agarwal, working with a news portal, had entered the camp and carried out the sting operation on the alleged abuse of the "buddy" system in the army by videographing Roy Mathew, a jawan from Kerala who was found dead last month. 

Nasik police lodged an FIR against Agarwal and retired army official Deep Chand under IPC provisions and Sections 3 (spying) and 7 (interfering with officers of police or members of the armed forces of the Union) of the Official Secrets Act.

Besides asking for a court-monitored probe, the plea, filed through lawyers Prashant Kumar and Anindita Pujari, has sought issuance of guidelines to prevent "abuse" of the provisions of the OSA.
19:21   Jadhav a terrorist, should meet his fate: Pak high commissioner
Amidst the furore over the death sentence awarded to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav by the Pakistan military court, Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit established his stand on the former and categorically said that he was indeed a terrorist.

"It's a proven fact that India carries out terrorist-driven activities in Pakistan. And when a terrorist himself has accepted he was a spy, the Indian Government is having issues. We haven't done anything wrong in giving the sentence to Jadhav. He should meet his fate," Samaa TV quoted Basit, as saying.

Basit was yesterday summoned to protest at the conviction and sentence. India also said that Pakistan had ignored its multiple requests for consular access to Jadhav.

India also issued a demarche against Pakistani military court for awarding death sentence to Jadhav.

Earlier on Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Jadhav was the victim of a plan that seeks to cast aspersions on New Delhi to deflect international attention from Islamabad's well-known record of sponsoring and supporting terrorism.

Asserting that India's position on this matter was clear, Swaraj said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Jadhav.

Image: Students in Mumbai pray for the safe return of Kulbhushan Jadhav. Photograph: Sahil Salvi
18:52   Jadhav has right to appeal against sentence within 60 days: Pak
Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif today said that Kulbhushan Jadhav has a right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days, even as he justified the death penalty given to the Indian national.

Jadhav, 46, was awarded death sentence by military Field General Court Martial under the army act for his alleged involvement in terrorism and espionage. The death sentence was confirmed by powerful army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Speaking in the Senate, upper house of parliament, the defence minister today said that Jadhav has the right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days. 

Asif dismissed Indian concerns that proper legal process was not observed in the trial. "There was nothing in the [legal] proceedings that was against the law," he said.

He also rejected the charges of premeditated murder.

"It's not premeditated murder, what's happening in Kashmir is (premeditated murder)," he alleged.
JUST IN: Re-polling in 38 polling stations of Srinagar parliamentary constituency to be held on April 13, from 7 am to 4 pm.
18:08   Not premeditated murder, Jadhav on trial for 3 months: Pakistan
Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told the Senate that Pakistan had followed the laws of the land. Dismissing India's accusations that the sentencing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav was "premeditated murder", he hit out at New Delhi, saying Pakistan followed the due legal process in prosecuting Jadhav. "There was nothing in the [legal] proceedings that was against the law," the minister told lawmakers. "The trial went on for three months."

The Dawn reports that referring to the Indian response to Jadhav's sentencing, Asif said, "They (India) used the term 'premeditated murder'. As a reply, all I want to say is that we have followed all the rules and regulations, and the laws of the land."

"We have done absolutely nothing that's against the rules and regulations but there is premeditated murder going on even today in Kashmir," the defence minister said.

Asif said that Pakistan will not grant any concessions to elements working against the security and the stability of the country, "whether they're operating from inside Pakistan or from outside it".

The defence minister further said that Government of Pakistan is in a position to deal with all such elements "with an iron fist".

Imaging: Dominic Xavier
18:02   Broadband internet restored after 2 days in Kashmir
Broadband internet services were restored in Kashmir today, two days after they were suspended by authorities on the eve of the April 9 by-polls to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.

The broadband internet services on landline were restored at around 4.30 pm today, giving much relief to subscribers in the valley.

However, the internet services on mobile phones and data cards remain suspended.

The authorities had suspended all internet services at midnight on April 8 as a pre-emptive measure to stop rumour mongering and mobilisation by separatist elements to disrupt the by-polls in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 9.

Despite the ban, large scale violence marred the polling during which eight persons were killed and scores others injured in the action by security forces. The Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency witnessed a mere 7.14 per cent turnout, the lowest ever recorded in the prestigious seat.

Also read:Why ban Internet when alienation drives Kashmir protests?
17:56   OPS' letter war
AIADMK's  Dr V Maitreyan of the O Pannerselvam camp is planning to submit a list of MPs in the group to the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Rajya Sabha chairperson Hamid Ansari. The OPS faction feels that once the letter is submitted, presiding officers will have no other option but to announce the split in the AIADMK Parliamentary Party. Had this been done in the Budget session, it would be handy for the OPS faction to stake its claim to the party symbol before the election commission. They say that with the EC allotting two symbols for the two factions to contest the RK Nagar poll, the AIADMK has in fact split.
17:49   Donald Trump says, North Korea looking for trouble
So, US Donald Trump has said North Korea is "looking for trouble" -- and suggested the US would offer China a better trade deal if it helped solve the ongoing crisis with Pyongyang.

"I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the US will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!" Trump tweeted.

In another tweet, he said: "North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!"

North Korea has warned it is ready for warafter Donald Trump sent warships to the Korean Peninsula to tighten the screws on the nuclear-armed state.

North Korean despot Kim Jong-un said there would be catastrophic consequences to the American presidents outrageous actions following the deployment of USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its strike group for US-South Korea military exercises.
17:42   Let there be light, 18-24 hour power supply in Yogi's UP
The Uttar Pradesh Government has ordered 18-hour power supply in villages and 24 hours in district headquarters of the state.

This decision was taken in the second Cabinet meeting chaired by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath earlier in the day.

"It is the dream of BJP chief Amit Shah and the Chief Minister that every house, every poor and every village get power by 2018," Uttar Pradesh's Power Minister Shrikant Sharma told the media after the Cabinet meeting.

Sharma said the BJP government had successfully provided uninterrupted 24-hour power supply at all "shaktipeeths" during the Navratri festival that ended last week.

Besides ordering 18-hour power supply in the villages and 24 hours in district headquarters of the state, Adityanath has also directed the officials to ensure there is uninterrupted supply to villages from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to ensure that students preparing for the exams are not disturbed.

Fulfilling its promise of waiving off farmers' loans, Adityanath-led government had in the first Cabinet meeting announced a Rs. 36,000-crore waiver package for small and marginal famers with a land holding of five acre and less.
@realDonaldTrump I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump  North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! USA.
17:16   This is what women MPs told Dimple Yadav in Parliament
Women MPs across parties bonded in the Central Hall of Parliament today. Sitting in two rows, were Jaya Bachchan (SP), Dimple Yadav (SP), Meenakshi Lekhi (BJP), Kirron Kher (BJP) and Supriya Sule (NCP), talking about the UP elections and the SP's defeat.

The MPs, especially Kirron Kher of the BJP told Dimple Yadav (former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav's wife) that in politics things change quickly.
They said both Akhilesh and Dimple have the advantage of youth and therefore the chief ministerial dream is still a possibility. Jaya Bachchan told her to be sporting about it.

Not a single male MP in the group and the women couldn't be happier. Thank you very much. 
17:09   Sarabjit's sister on Kulbhushan: Govt should take action soon
Sarabjit Singh's sister Daljit Kaur appealed to the Indian Government to not waste time by starting a trial or sending lawyers in connection with Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence, but to take a strict action soon as the impact of the delay had already been seen in the Sarabjit case.

"I hope our government takes a proper action on this matter. I appeal to our government to not start a trial, or send our lawyers. Basically, we should not waste our time, because this is what we did in Sarabjit case and everyone knows the result," Dalbir Kaur told ANI.

Kaur also welcomed the statements made by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in which they assured the nation fo that justice will be accorded to Kulbhushan.

Earlier in the day, slamming the Pakistan military court, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj issued a stern warning to Pakistan, saying that Islamabad should be wary of taking such an extreme step as it could result in damaging the bilateral relations between the already hostile neighbours.
16:10   'I hope we are putting serious pressure on Pakistan'
This is what Shashi Tharoor told the media outside Parliament House today.

The Congress MP called on the Centre to get the United Nations to haul Islamabad for blatantly violating international laws.

"India has very important responsibility both in terms of bilaterally communicating to Pakistan as to what we expect from them. I hope we are putting serious international pressure on Pakistan, because what Pakistan was doing is a violation of international law and that's what keeps nations safe," Tharoor told the media outside Parliament. "If you are going to take arbitrary action like this against the citizen of one country, tomorrow other citizens will be unsafe," he added.

Asserting that Pakistan has violated every international rule by sentencing Jadhav, Tharoor called on the Centre to draw the attention of the international community, particularly the UN, in hauling Pakistan.
16:05   Sushma co-opts Tharoor to draft resolution condemning Jadhav's execution order
The Kulbhushan Jadhav episode ruled on the last day of the Budget session of Parliament.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj asked Congress member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor to help with drafting a resolution that will be adopted by both houses.

Swaraj warned Pakistan over the death sentence and after speaking in the Lok Sabha walked up to Shashi Tharoor and asked him to draft the resolution. Tharoor accepted after seeking permission from Mallikarjuna Kharge, the leader of the Congress in the Lower House.

This is not the first time that Tharoor has been co-opted by the Modi government to draft a statement to be adopted by both houses.

The PM had asked him to draft a resolution condemning Pakistan for freeing Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a key plotter of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.  

India warned Pakistan that execution of the death sentence handed down to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a military court would be taken as "pre-meditated murder" and Islamabad should consider its consequences on bilateral relations.

"There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Jadhav. If anything, he is the victim of a plan that seeks to cast aspersions on India to deflect international attention from Pakistan's well-known record of sponsoring and supporting terrorism," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in an identical statement in both Houses of Parliament.

"Under these circumstances, we have no choice but to regard the sentence, if carried out, as an act of pre-meditated murder," she said, adding that the sentence by the Pakistani Military Court was based on "concocted charges".
15:56   Terror incidents in Kashmir dropped by 25% after terror strike: Govt
Terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir have come down by around 25 per cent after the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army in PoK last year.

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said in the Lok Sabha that 193 terrorist incidents took place in Jammu and Kashmir between April 1 and September 30, 2016. But between October 1, 2016 and March 31 this year the state reported 155 terror attacks, he said while replying to a written question.

The Indian Army had carried out surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir on September 29 last year. Also, there was a drastic reduction in the number of stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir after the surgical strikes, the Minister said.

There were 2,325 incidents of stone-pelting reported in six months -- from April to September 2016. However, the number has come down to 411 in the next six months -- from October 2016 to March 2017. Ahir said there were 371 attempts of infiltration made last year and 118 militants were able to infiltrate, while 217 had to return.

As many as 35 militants were killed and three were arrested during their infiltration bids last year. In 2017, till February 43 attempts of infiltration were made.

Nine militants could sneak into the Indian side, four were killed and 30 others returned. In 2016, 20 terrorist attacks took place along the India- Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir in which 11 security personnel and one civilian were killed. In 2017, four terrorist attacks took place along the India-Pakistan border till March in which three civilians were killed, he said.
15:24   At Sonia's UPA dinner tonight, a Rahul-Priyanka appearance?
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will host a dinner in New Delhi tonight UPA Members of Parliament.

Naturally, Congress MPs and general secretaries are invited for the dinner, which Sonia conventionally hosts at the end of every parliament session.

The party's mega losses in UP, Uttarakhand and Goa are likely to feature in discussions.

Though the grapevine has been speculating that Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra will join their mother for the dinner, their presence or absence is as yet unconfirmed.

But if Rahul does make an appearance, it will be a symbolic gesture for Sonia Gandhi to indicate that he will now takeover the UPA leadership in the monsoon session of Parliament.

The budget session of parliament ended sine die today.

Shock and outrage over the barbarism meted out to a passenger aboard a United Airlines flight, ruled social media.
A meme on the incident.
15:03   Mystery as retired army officer goes missing in Nepal
A retired Pakistan Army officer has mysteriously gone missing while visiting Nepal for a job interview, reports the Dawn.

The officer, identified as retired Lt Col Mohammad Habib, has been untraceable since Thursday (April 6) from Lumbini, a Nepalese town near the Indian border and a Buddhist pilgrimage site, soon after his arrival there. He last contacted his family on Thursday afternoon and since then his phone numbers have not been reachable. Col Habib's family reported his disappearance to the Foreign Office after not having been able to reach him. He is feared to have been abducted, a source said. Read more

The Habib factor: Read this column on Why Jadhav is unlikely to be executed.
14:39   Now, the Modi govt wants to fix how many prawns you should eat
Now, the Modi government is preparing to fix how many prawns you should eat.

The Hindustan Times reported that the government is looking at fixing the portion sizes of dishes served by star hotels and restaurants, a fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern about wastage of food in his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio programme.

"If a person can eat only two prawns, why should he or she be served six? If a person eats two idlis, why serve four! It's wastage of food and also money people pay for something that they don't eat," said Ram Vilas Paswan, minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution.

The ministry is drafting a questionnaire for hotels and restaurants to explain what dish sizes they should serve to a customer.

"They are the experts. They should tell us the maximum amount of a dish a person can eat. You go to a Chinese restaurant; they give you so much (of food). We are going to call them (stakeholders) for a meeting. The PM is concerned about food wastage and so we are going to issue instructions to these hotels (about the amount of food to be served)," Paswan told HT on Monday.

He, however, clarified the instructions would be applicable to "standard hotels" and not dhabas that "usually serve thalis".

In his Mann Ki Baat last month, Modi had flagged the issue of food wastage at feasts and termed it as injustice to the poor.

Paswan's latest move comes in addition to a slew of consumer-centric proposals that the ministry has incorporated in a new draft bill to amend Consumer Protection Act.
14:08   Nawaz Sharif: Pak forces prepared to respond to any threat
A day after Pakistan's powerful Army chief ordered the execution of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, "We cannot remain oblivious to defending our sovereignty and protecting our independence. Pakistan forces are prepared to respond to any spectrum of threat."

This comes after the government said it would do whatever it takes to save Kulbhushan Jadhav from the gallows.

Sharif also said that Islamabad wants good relations with neighbours.

A Pakistani military court has found Jadhav guilty of "involvement in espionage and sabotage activities" against the country.  Sharif today described Pakistan as a peace-loving country.

"Pakistan is a peace-loving country. It has maintained good relations with its neighbours. We want cooperation, not conflicts. Pakistan will not hesitate to extend a hand of friendship," Sharif said.

The death sentence to Jadhav, 46, was confirmed by Pakistani Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa after the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) found him guilty of "all the charges", said the military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

According to the ISPR statement, Jadhav, a Commander in the Indian Navy, "confessed" before a Magistrate and the court that he was "tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage/sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi."
13:40   "Spitting" incident; Vijayakanth expresses regret
Film star turned politician Vijayakanth has expressed "regret" to the Press Council of India (PCI) over his alleged misbehaviour with journalists in 2015 following which a case in this regard has been 'dismissed.'

The former leading star of Tamil Films had courted controversy when he allegedly spat before reporters here in December 2015, apparently in a fit of anger while responding to some queries.

Vijayakanth's counsel GS Mani said he had made oral submission before a PCI committee in New Delhi yesterday, issuing a "regret statement." "I am his (Vijayakanth) counsel and I gave a regret statement on his behalf, stating that he never intended to insult media persons," he told PTI. "I also said that if that incident had hurt the media persons, then he (Vijayakanth) expresses regret for the same," he said.
@CNNnews18 Pak PM Nawaz Sharif has told media that he was unaware of this decision.
12:51   Panagariya in favour of GST roll out despite all challenges
A day after former finance minister P. Chidambaram asserted that any rush to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by July 1 could prove harmful, Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya on Tuesday stated that this new tax regime should be implemented as scheduled despite all challenges as progress will take place only after we move ahead in this regard.

"Till date everybody was coming with assertions as to why the GST has not been implemented yet. Now, when it is about to be rolled out then they are saying that the date should be carried forward. So, I think we should definitely move ahead in this regard," Panagariya told ANI.

"This is for sure that there will be growing pains when the transactions take place. But progress will take place only after we move ahead in this regard," he added.

Panagariya, however, admitted that there are challenges ahead because a new system is being created.

"It is a challenge for both the government and the industry," he added.
12:23   Bitter harvest
Jhargram (West Bengal): Farmers block the state highway with karela in protest of not getting right price for produce.

Also read: 'The farmer is dying and the country is rejoicing'
12:17   Jadhav is a son of India, we will do whatever it takes to save him: Sushma
External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj makes a statement in the Rajya Sabha on the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue. Before she begins her statement, the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien tells Swaraj that the House is one in standing with the government in whatever decision it takes.

Sushma Swaraj's statement: Would caution the Pakistan govt to consider the future of bilateral relations if they carry out this sentencing. Our position is very clear, there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Kulbhushan Jadhav. This is an act of premeditated murder. We have no choice but to regard the sentence, if carried out, as premeditated murder."

Ghulam Nabi Azad tells the House: Our govt has to ensure that Kulbhushan Jadhav has the best lawyers to fight the case in Pakistan SC.

Swaraj responds saying, "I have met his parents several times, spoken to them on the phone. He is not just the son of his parents, he is the son of India and we will do whatever it takes to save him. Getting the best lawyers to fight his case is a small matter. We will approach the President too. We will go out of the way to ensure justice to Kulbhushan Jadhav."

India on Monday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and issued a demarche against Pakistani military court for awarding death sentence to Jadhav.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad was not even informed about Jadhav's trial in the court.

File pic.
Policeman dead as armed men attack Philippine tourist island: AFP
11:50   Nobody can tell me what to do: Arnab Goswami
...  I am certainly the judge and jury on my show. There's nothing to hide. I feel it is my job to call out people. I feel tame discussions don't help. I have also come to the conclusion that stories that you pick up, you need to really go to the core rather than skim the surface. I have two hours every night to do it. I turned The Newshour into less of a news bulletin, and more of a 'seeking accountability forum'. That's the kind of journalism I can do. I cannot go on TV every night and read the news. I'd be bored to death."

If the nation wants to know what Arnab Goswami told Mansworld, here's the full interview.
11:36   Rajnath on Jadhav: India will do whatever it takes
Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaking in Lok Sabha now. Excerpts of his statement in Parliament.

-- Kulbhushan Jadhav had a valid Indian visa, how can he be a spy?
-- Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had gone for business.
-- Consular access has been denied from the start.
-- Kulbhushan Jadhav is a retired naval officer.
-- Pakistan is lying that he is a spy.  No basis for terming Jadhav a spy.
-- The basic norms of law and justice have been flouted.
-- No matter what needs to be done, the Indian government will do it
-- Justice will prevail with Kulbhushan Jadhav.
-- External Affairs minister will also give a statement after 12 pm,

File pic.

11:29   Parliamentarians unite to condemn Pakistan on Kulbhushan Jadhav
In the Lok Sabha the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue unites MPs:

Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge: Kulbhushan Jadhav is not a RAW agent as declared by Pakistan. Why is our govt sitting quiet? Agar use faansi hoti hai toh socha samjha murder hum usey kahenge. Agar usey bacha nahi paaye toh ye sarkaar ki kamzori hogi. PM's Pakistan visit a failure.

Treasury benches tell the Opposition: "Don't do politics over the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The whole House stands with him. The Home Minister will reply on the issue," Ananth Kumar, Union Minister in Lok Sabha.

Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM Pakistan: Pakistan military court is a banana court where they have given a judgement without any evidence. Government should use its influence and try to bring him back here safe. Jadhav should be saved at all costs.

BJD Baijayant Panda: This is not about who is in government and who is Opposition. We all have to unite as Indians. 

Shiv Sena: Need to take strict action.

Saugata Roy, TMC: So far, #Pakistan has not presented any proof of Kulbhushan Jadhav's espionage activities. How did we treat Ajmal Kasab. We used every possible legal remedy. We must expose Pak at world forum.

Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP: What Pakistan is doing is not just an assault on India, but assault on international law. The Geneva Convention has not been followed. We ask the government to take it up in world forums.
10:51   Cong, Sena move motion on Kulbhushan Jadhav in Lok Sabha
The Congress and the Shiv Sena have moved a motion in the Lok Sabha on the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue. The Indian national is to be sentenced to death by Pakistan on charges of being a Research and Analysis Wing spy.
The Congress will also raise the Kashmir unrest issue in the LS.

India on Monday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and issued a demarche against Pakistani military court for awarding death sentence to Jadhav.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad was not even informed about Jadhav's trial in the court.

The ministry added that the subsequent presence of Jadhav, who was kidnapped last year from Iran, has never been explained credibly by the Pakistani authorities.

"The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him. Senior Pakistani figures have themselves cast doubt about the adequacy of the evidence," an official release stated.

"The claim in the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) release that Jadhav was provided with a defending officer during the so-called trial is clearly absurd in the circumstances," it added.

The Ministry said the Indian Government, through its High Commission in Islamabad, repeatedly sought consular access to Jadhav, as provided for by the international law.

"Requests to that effect were formally made 13 times between March 25, 2016 and March 31, 2017. This was not permitted by the Pakistani authorities," it said."If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the Government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder," it read.

Earlier, Jadhav was given the death sentence by the Pakistan Military, its media wing the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016 through an operation in Balochistan's Mashkel area for his alleged involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan, the ISPR said.

File pic
10:35   Bhadrak simmers: Curfew relaxed till 2 pm
Curfew has been relaxed till 2 pm on Tuesday in Odisha's Bhadrak town, which was rocked with violence over alleged abusive comments against Hindu deities on Facebook.

Curfew continues to see-saw between being relaxed and re-imposed in Bhadrak as Odisha Police's crime has begun its probe into the recent violence.

The Centre has rushed 2,000 paramilitary personnel to Odisha to assist the local administration.20 companies of the paramilitary personnel were dispatched to Odisha to help restore normalcy in the district.

Fresh violence erupted in some areas earlier this week after talks failed to resolve the row triggered by alleged abusive remarks on social media against a particular community. Mobs resorted to violence a day after prohibitory orders were imposed in the town on Thursday.

Though Section 144 was imposed in the town, the officials had to clamp curfew as the situation deteriorated further
10:32   Overbooked United Airlines drags bleeding passenger down the aisle
Reuters: United Airlines sparked outrage on Monday for the treatment of a passenger who was physically dragged off a plane the airline had overbooked. One of the security officers involved in the incident was placed on leave pending an investigation.

Videos posted online by other passengers showed a man screaming as officers yanked him from his seat on United Flight 3411 before it departed from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday.

The man, who appeared to be Asian, was seen being dragged down the aisle on his back by his hands, body limp, bleeding from the mouth, glasses askew and shirt pulled up above his navel. The videos sparked outrage on social media, the second time in less than a month that United was criticized for its treatment of passengers.In a letter circulated to employees and seen by Reuters, United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz did not apologize for the way the passenger was handled, writing that the passenger had "defied" security officers.

Munoz said there are lessons the company can learn from this situation, though he impressed that he "emphatically" stands behind his employees.

"We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation)," Munoz wrote. "When we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions."

The Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement that one of the officers did not follow protocol and added that he had been placed on leave pending a review for actions not condoned by the department.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) said it was reviewing whether United complied with overbook rules that require airlines to set guidelines on how passengers are denied boarding if they do not volunteer to give up their seats.

"While it is legal for airlines to involuntarily bump passengers from an oversold flight when there are not enough volunteers, it is the airline's responsibility to determine its own fair boarding priorities," a DOT spokesperson said in a statement.

Image: A video grab of the passenger, of Asian descent, dragged down the aisle of the plane.
Congress gives adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha on the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue.
10:05   They came, saw, fell in love... this couple travels around the world on a paid holiday
Travellers Jack Morris, 26, and Lauren Bullen, 24, met on a beach in the Pacific nation of Fiji on their travels. And fell in love.

They have lived happily ever after, posting stunning photographs of their wanderings on Instagram, winning them millions of followers around the globe.

Jack, who is from Manchester, Britain, and Lauren, who hails from New South Wales, Australia, have visited some 20 countries. Their quirky Instagram pics have generated so much interest they were sponsored by travel sites, who have paid up to $9,000 per pic, according to the Daily Mail newspaper. While Lauren blogs as Gypsea Lust and has 1.4 million followers, Jack posts as Do You Travel on Instagram and has 2.2 million followers. Take a look.

IMAGE: A special breakfast with your sweetheart. Because lunch and dinner dates are cliched. 'Took my girl @gypsea_lust (in Kenya) for a birthday breakfast with a couple of our giraffe friends happy birthday beautiful -- I hope it's your best one yet!' he wrote.
09:48   Pulitzer Prize winners 2017. The full list
The Pulitzer committee released its 101st class of winners. The Pulitzer, which honors Americas strongest journalistic and creative work, is usually chosen from a pool of finalists selected by experts in each category (the Pulitzer jury) and then narrowed down to a single winner by the Pulitzer board.

The New York Times won three Pulitzer Prizes, and The New York Daily News and ProPublica shared the prize for public service, as journalism presented its highest honors on Monday at a time of steep financial challenges for the industry and unabashed antagonism from a new presidential administration.

The Daily News-ProPublica joint effort won for a series on the New York Police Departments widespread abuse of a decades-old law to force people from their homes and businesses over alleged illegal activity.

Here is the full list of winners for 2017.

Public Service
New York Daily News and ProPublica
For uncovering, primarily through the work of reporter Sarah Ryley, widespread abuse of eviction rules by the police to oust hundreds of people, most of them poor minorities.

Breaking News Reporting
Staff of East Bay Times, Oakland, CA
For relentless coverage of the Ghost Ship fire, which killed 36 people at a warehouse party, and for reporting after the tragedy that exposed the citys failure to take actions that might have prevented it.

Investigative Reporting
Eric Eyre of Charleston Gazette-Mail, Charleston, WV
For courageous reporting, performed in the face of powerful opposition, to expose the flood of opioids flowing into depressed West Virginia counties with the highest overdose death rates in the country.

Explanatory Reporting
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and Miami Herald
For the Panama Papers, a series of stories using a collaboration of more than 300 reporters on six continents to expose the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens. (Moved by the Board from the International Reporting category, where it was entered.

Local Reporting
The Salt Lake Tribune Staff
For a string of vivid reports revealing the perverse, punitive and cruel treatment given to sexual assault victims at Brigham Young University, one of Utahs most powerful institutions.

National Reporting
David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post
For persistent reporting that created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trumps assertions of generosity toward charities.

International Reporting
The New York Times Staff
For agenda-setting reporting on Vladimir Putins efforts to project Russias power abroad, revealing techniques that included assassination, online harassment and the planting of incriminating evidence on opponents.

Feature Writing
C. J. Chivers of The New York Times
For showing, through an artful accumulation of fact and detail, that a Marines postwar descent into violence reflected neither the actions of a simple criminal nor a stereotypical case of PTSD.

Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal
For rising to the moment with beautifully rendered columns that connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nations most divisive political campaigns.

Hilton Als of The New Yorker
For bold and original reviews that strove to put stage dramas within a real-world cultural context, particularly the shifting landscape of gender, sexuality and race.

Editorial Writing
Art Cullen of The Storm Lake Times, Storm Lake, IA
For editorials fueled by tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing that successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa.

Editorial Cartooning
Jim Morin of Miami Herald
For editorial cartoons that delivered sharp perspectives through flawless artistry, biting prose and crisp wit.

Breaking News Photography
Daniel Berehulak, freelance photographer
For powerful storytelling through images published in The New York Times showing the callous disregard for human life in the Philippines brought about by a government assault on drug dealers and users. (Moved into this category from Feature Photography by the nominating jury.

Feature Photography
E. Jason Wambsgans of Chicago Tribune
For a superb portrayal of a 10-year-old boy and his mother striving to put the boys life back together after he survived a shooting in Chicago.



The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.

Sweat, by Lynn Nottage
For a nuanced yet powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American dream.

Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson (Pantheon)
For a narrative history that sets high standards for scholarly judgment and tenacity of inquiry in seeking the truth about the 1971 Attica prison riots.

Biography or Autobiography
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar (Random House)
For a first-person elegy for home and father that examines with controlled emotion the past and present of an embattled region.

Olio, by Tyehimba Jess (Wave Books)
For a distinctive work that melds performance art with the deeper art of poetry to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.

General Nonfiction
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (Crown)
For a deeply researched expos that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty.

Angel's Bone, by Du Yun
Premiered on January 6, 2016, at the Prototype Festival, 3LD Arts and Technology Center, New York City, a bold operatic work that integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world. Libretto by Royce Vavrek.
09:34   That horse image on Google? It's Jamini Roy's 130th birthday
On his 130th birth anniversary, Google paid special tribute to Indian artist Jamini Roy by sketching an eye-catching Doodle inspired by his Black Horse painting.

One of the most significant early artists in India, Jamini Roy portrayed rural scenario, ordinary people, animals and folk cults of the time and place.

Born into a moderately prosperous family of land-owners in Beliatore village of the Bankura district, West Bengal, Roy went to study at the Government College of Art in Kolkata where he trained in British academic style of painting in 1916.

But when it was time for Roy to develop his style of art, he returned to the folk and craft of his homeland.

When Jamini Roy was learning art and craft of paintings, he was heavily influenced by the wave of nationalism in the country. He took inspiration from East Asian calligraphy, folk arts and crafts traditions and from the 1920s onwards his paintings reflected the innocence and beauty of rural lives.

Jamini Roy, who died in 1972, received several honours including, Padma Bhushan in 1954 and Viceroy's gold medal in an all India exhibition for one of his work in 1934.
09:27   Netas unite over Jadhav
Condemning the death sentence to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav by the Pakistani military court, political parties across the nation on Tuesday said India needs to stand up straight in front of Islamabad and maintain a safe distance.

"I think this is the limit and India should talk straight forward to Pakistan. Earlier it was Sarabjeet now it is Kulbhushan Jhadav, these things remind us to stay at a safe distance from Pakistan and maintain a limited relationship with them," Congress leader PL Punia told ANI.

He further said that Jadhav should have been given the opportunity to present the evidence in the court."Indian embassy's councilor was also not given any chance to help him," Punia asserted.

Echoing similar sentiments, Janata Dal United (JD (U)) leader Ali Anwar said Pakistan has always dismantled each and every law related to foreign affairs.

"We condemn such move. India should take a strict move now and tackle this issue wisely," he added.

India yesterday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and issued a demarche against Pakistani military court for awarding death sentence to alleged Indian spy Jadhav.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad was not even informed about Jadhav's trial in the court.

The ministry added that the subsequent presence of Jadhav, who was kidnapped last year from Iran, has never been explained credibly by the Pakistani authorities.

"The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him. Senior Pakistani figures have themselves cast doubt about the adequacy of the evidence," an official release stated.

"The claim in the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) release that Jadhav was provided with a defending officer during the so-called trial is clearly absurd in the circumstances," it added.

The Ministry said the Indian Government, through its High Commission in Islamabad, repeatedly sought consular access to Jadhav, as provided for by the international law.

"If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the Government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder," it read.

Earlier, Jadhav was given the death sentence by the Pakistan Military, it's media wing the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016 through an operation in Balochistan's Mashkel area for his alleged involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan, the ISPR said.Earlier in March 2016, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the former Indian naval officer was arrested by Pakistan for allegedly engaging in subversive activities was possibly kidnapped from Iran and denied any possibilities of him being involved in subversive activities in Pakistan.

The accused, used to run a business in the Iranian port city of Chabahar. He was seen in a video confessing that he was an official of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's external intelligence agency. 
09:21   New UN peace messenger Malala will promote girls' education
Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai, newly designated as a UN Messenger of Peace, says extremists tried to kill her but didn't succeed and in her second life she is working for education especially for girls and hoping boys will become advocates for gender equality.

The 19-year-old Pakistani activist called herself a proud Muslim, stressed that Islam means peace, and expressed great disappointment that Muslims are portrayed in the media as "terrorists" and "jihadists." "People should look at me and the Muslims who are living in peace and believe in peace, rather than looking at the few terrorists," she said.

Malala answered questions from young people yesterday after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres officially bestowed on her the highest honor the UN chief can give a global citizen, calling her "a hero."
09:19   Jadhav is unlikely to be executed
Must read: Was the death sentence on Kulbhushan Jadhav provoked by a retired Pakistani colonel going missing in Nepal, presumably abducted by Indian agents? Group Captain Murli Menon (retd), once deputed to RA&W, explains what is likely to unfold.
08:58   North Korea says ready for 'war' as US moves navy fleet closer
North Korea has said that it was ready for "war" in a further escalation of tensions, days after a United States navy battle group was sent to waters off the Korean peninsula. 

The decision to divert the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and other battleships from a planned visit to Australia to the western Pacific came after tensions increased over ongoing military drills involving American and South Korean forces that Pyongyang regards as a dress rehearsal for an invasion.

"This goes to prove that the US reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase," a spokesman for the North's foreign ministry said according to state news agency KCNA.

"The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US," he said, using the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
President Donald Trump, fresh from ordering a missile strike on Syria that was widely interpreted as a warning to North Korea, has asked his advisors for a range of options to rein in Pyongyang, a top US official said Sunday.
Trump has previously threatened unilateral action against Pyongyang if China -- the North's sole major ally -- fails to help curb its neighbour's nuclear weapons ambitions.
But Pyongyang's response suggested the reclusive state is determined to continue on its current path, despite repeated rounds of United Nations sanctions.

Representative image
08:24   16 opposition parties ask EC to revert to ballot papers
Sixteen opposition parties have urged the Election Commission to revert to the paper ballot system in future elections saying tampering allegations have created "trust deficit" on the reliability of the voting machines.
The parties also slammed the Centre for failing to provide funds to the Commission to put in place sufficient number of voter verified paper audit trail machines for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The VVPAT dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party the elector has voted for using EVM. This proves that the EVM has faithfully recorded the vote.
"We are not blaming the EC. EC feels EVMs are tamper-proof. Even Pentagon is not fool-proof. We have urged the Commission to revert to paper ballot system till the reliability of EVMs is proven beyond doubt by all
stakeholders," senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters.
He said the commission would soon convene an all-party meet to further discuss the issue.
"The trust deficit amongst political parties in the electronic devices is too deep seated and pervasive. It has shattered the faith of the people in the fairness of the electoral process...the trust factor is getting eroded and it
is incumbent upon the Election Commission to allay those fears and apprehensions," the memorandum submitted to the poll panel read.
00:37   UK's Prince George, Princess Charlotte to be in Pippa's wedding
Look for Prince George and Princess Charlotte to steal a few hearts when their aunt Pippa Middleton marries next month.

Kensington Palace said today that George, 3, and Charlotte, 1, will be page boy and bridesmaid at the May 20 nuptials of Middleton and financier James Matthews.

They are the children of Prince William and his wife Kate, who is Pippa's sister. William, Kate and Prince Harry will all attend the high-profile wedding.
00:14   US strike in Syria destroyed 20% of operational Syrian aircraft
US cruise missile strike in Syria destroyed 20 percent of operational Syrian aircraft, Defense Secretary Mattis was quoted as saying. 

On Friday, the United States  launched a massive military strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation to a barbaric chemical attack on civilians allegedly by embattled President Bashar al-Assads regime and asked all 'civilised' countries to join it to end the killing of innocent people.

On President Donald Trumps orders, US warships in the Mediterranean Sea launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat air base, in Homs governorate, where the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks are based, US officials said.

The missiles from two US warships hit at 3:45 am (local time) and targeted the bases airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas.